Water is a precious commodity and one that many take for granted, but just like every other natural resource on Earth water supply is limited.
Showers are typically the third most significant source of water usage in a home after washing machines and toilets.
Making the simple swap to a low flow shower head can save a family of two about 7000 gallons of water a year.
Furthermore, technological advancements in creating high pressure, water saving shower heads mean you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your shower.
And it’s not just water you can save.
Heating water accounts for around 18% of the standard energy bill making it the second biggest contributor.
Reducing the amount of hot water you use to shower will also reduce your energy bills, saving you a significant amount of money.
A low flow shower head is defined as any shower head that has a flow rate below 2.5 gallons per minute.
Usually, they have a flow rate between 1.5-2 GPM.
The shower heads work by having what’s called a flow restrictor fitted.
These regulate the amount of water that can flow through at any one time., ensuring it doesn’t go above the set flow rate.
You might associate the phrases ‘low flow’ or ‘water saving’ with a low pressure, weak shower head.
While this may have been the case with early water saving designs, these days there are lots of innovative technologies out there which mean you can have a powerful, high-pressure shower head that’s also low flow.
Some examples of the technologies used include channelling the water through smaller spaces, using turbines or aerating the water.
These technologies ensure that even with low water pressure, you shouldn’t notice any drop in the intensity of your shower spray.
Water saving shower heads don’t have to break the bank.
You can find decent one for under $10.
A mid-range one should cost around $30-$50 and a top of the range low flow shower head will cost about $100.
Our list of the 15 best water saving shower heads you can buy.
Flow Rate: 1.75, 2 and 2.5 GPM options
For those of you who like a massage focused shower Speakman offer this shower head.
It comes with the same Anystream technology we described above to seamlessly transition between the three functions, which are slightly different:
The shower head also features Speakman’s signature self-cleaning, pressurising plungers.
The innovative technology combined with the affordable price of this shower head is why we rated it the best water saving shower head on our list!
Speakman has another massaging low flow shower head which has a different, flatter design. We suggest checking them out both and see which style works best for your bathroom.
Both the massaging shower heads are constructed out of plastic so cheaper than the brass ones above.
Flow Rate: 1.75, 2 and 2.5 GPM options
This Speakman shower head is made entirely from brass and timelessly styled for longevity.
Being made out of metal rather than plastic gives this shower head a high quality feel and durability that most modern shower heads lack.
Speakman uses Anystream technology in their shower heads, a novel way of moving between spray functions.
Instead of having to cumbersomely fiddle with the shower head, there’s a small lever on the side of the head which you can easily turn to transition between functions.
The shower head has an impressive 6 jet streams and 48 customisable spray holes. There are three different spray functions:
These indulgent spray functions are why we rated this the best water saving shower head for a luxurious shower.
The shower head is designed with self-cleaning plungers that also act as pressurisers for the water, ensuring an intense but even flow. These plungers make the shower head suitable for houses with low water pressure.
There’s a second version of this shower head also made from brass that boasts even more water streams (8 jet streams and 64 spray holes) for an elevated shower experience. However, it’s slightly more expensive.
Flow Rate: 1.5, 1.75, 2.0, 2,5 GPM
This is a great shower head for low-pressure households.
Another feature for Speakman, this shower head focuses on maximising pressure.
There’s only one spray function which is pressurised by a turbine-powered engine that transfers energy to the water flow.
The resultant shower experience is powerful and refreshing, even if you have low water pressure.
The shower head is available in transparent smokey grey, dusk blue and jade frames.
Flow Rate: 1.5, 1.8 and 2 GPM options available
High Sierra’s water saving shower heads are made using high-quality metals.
The core parts are made using stainless steel and solid brass, while the outer parts are made using aluminium.
Using metal has two advantages over the more commonly used plastic:
High Sierra shower heads have a patented single flow design that means they won’t clog like standard shower heads.
However, this single flow design also means that the shower head only has one spray setting. Therefore, those of you who like to play around with your showers settings will be disappointed.
High Sierra says their shower head nozzle delivers a “strong, full-spray of large, rain-like droplets”.
The traditional multiple mini stream shower design doesn’t always work well with low flow shower heads, whereas High Sierras one-flow system means the water flows powerfully and efficiently.
Many reviewers have been impressed with their “superior shower experience”.
Flow Rate: 1.8, 2.5 GPM options available
Waterpik’s eco flow shower head comes with six different spray functions including the original massage setting Waterpick is known for.
The shower heads have Optiflow technology which channels the water through a smaller space. This helps builds up pressure for a satisfying shower even with a low flow setting.
One of the spray functions is the water saving trickle mode, which slows the water right down to save using unnecessary when you don’t need it.
Waterpik also has a fixed mount eco flow shower head that has an even lower 1.5 gallons per minute flow rate.
Flow Rate: 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 GPM options available
Niagara claims this 1.25 gallons per minute low flow shower head will use up to 75% less water than other ‘low-flow’ shower heads on the market.
They say the brand is “well known for its performance and affordability”, and the price is definitely one of the positives. We’ve rated this the best cheap water saving shower head.
The stream of water is non-aerated, which has two different benefits:
The shower head features a 9-jet turbo massaging stream and has several different settings. You can easily switch between the settings by rotating the shower head; options range from a gentle spray to a forceful jet.
It also comes with a patented pressure regulator within the shower to ensure a steady stream.
Niagra also offers a handheld version of this shower head which starts from 1.5 gallons per minute.
Flow Rate: tri flow shower head, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 GPM settings
This second option from Niagara is perfect for those looking for big water savings, so much so we rated this the best water saving shower head for maximum water savings.
You can switch between the three flow settings throughout the shower, depending on your needs.
The lowest flow is perfect for when you’re shampooing, or lathering body wash, while the highest setting would be best for rinsing off any soap.
For those on a tight budget, Niagara as a dual flow ultra water saving shower head (1.0 GPM and 1.5 GPM) which is very affordable.
Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM
A third water saving shower head from Niagara. This one boasts an oversized 4.4-inch diameter for wide coverage.
Its no-nonsense design is fitted with a patented pressure compensator to provide a steady stream of water no matter what the water pressure is.
The rubber nozzles are easy to clean, and there’s a 360-degree swivel ball so you can position it however suits you best.
There’s also a 1.75 gmp option.
Flow Rate: dual flow shower head, 1.85 and 2.5 GPM settings
This shower head features four large spray holes Delta claims are self-cleaning, and offers two different spray patterns.
Delta says the shower heads unique design provides three times more coverage than average shower heads.
Furthermore, the aerated water flow has larger droplets than usual, meaning they can hold heat for longer, and the water feels warmer.
The WaterSense approved shower head has two different flow rates which you can switch between using a lever located on the shower head.
There’s a low flow option of 1.85 gallons per minute and a more standard option of 2.5 gallons per minute. This gives you the luxury of knowing that you can have a really powerful shower if you need it.
Flow Rate: 2 and 2.5 GPM options
This handheld shower head claims to have powerful jets of water with massaging powers.
There are seven different settings on the shower head, including wide full body spray, massaging spray and energy-saving spray.
The seventh setting is pause, which helps you save even more water because you can pause the water flow mid-shower and turn it back on again without having to wait for it to get back to temperature.
The shower head has touch-clean technology so you can simply wipe away any limescale that builds up with your hands.
We rated this the best water saving shower head for families because it’s easy to clean, and the variety of spray functions will keep everyone happy.
Flow Rate: dual flow shower head, 1.5 and 2 GPM settings
This shower head has three distinct spray functions, turbine spray (1.5 GPM), full spray (2 GPM) and a combination spray (2 GPM).
To help save the maximum amount of water, the shower head automatically resets itself to the 1.5 GPM setting each time you turn the shower off.
American standard says their turbine technology means you shouldn’t notice a difference in power compared to a regular shower head. We’ve rated it the best water saving shower head for low water pressure.
The water is pressurised in a small chamber, then a turbine spins the pressurised water, creating a powerful spray.
The shower head itself is quite large (6″ in diameter) which is great for minimising splash, but bear this in mind if you don’t have a big shower.
American Standard also offers a slim fit shower head that’s constructed using solid brass but doesn’t have two flow rates settings. It’s limited to 2 GPM.
Flow Rate: N/A
NoSame shower heads defiantly live up to their name with a unique design and innovative water saving features.
The shower head uses laser technology to make micro-sized holes in the head. Because the holes are so tiny less water can come through, which is where the water saving comes in. The smaller holes also work to increase water pressure.
NoSame says the shower head will use 30% less water, and increase the pressure by up to 200% compared to a typical shower head.
The ionic balls remove negative ions such as chlorine from the water flow, helping to purify it.
NoSame claim this results in smoother skin, reduced oil secretion and less hair loss. However, you have to clean the shower every month, which could get tiresome.
There are three different flow patterns to pick from: jetting, massage and rainfall and the shower head comes in two colours, clear or a more funky see-through blue.
Flow Rate: 2.5 GPM
While technically not low flow with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, this shower head has another water saving technique.
There’s a button on the shower head which will slow the flow to a trickle, but not stop it entirely, so it doesn’t lose its temperature.
You can use this to turn the water off when you don’t need it, such as when you’re shampooing your hair. If you’re a fan of the navy shower technique, you’ll find this button very useful!
The shower head is made from sturdy brass metal but still has a very reasonable price point. Reviewers describe the water flow as well pressured, but with small droplets.
Flow Rate: 1.9 GPM
The Whedon shower head is a good option if you like the minimal look of the LDR shower head and the pause button, but want something with a lower flow.
This brass shower head has a ‘trickle button’ that works just like other pause buttons. It slows the water flow right down, but maintains the temperature for maximum water and energy savings.
It’s also fitted with a pressure compensating valve to ensure a high pressure, constant flowing water stream.
It’s made in the USA so has the added benefit of supporting local manufacturing, and having a lower carbon footprint by saving on transportation.
Flow Rate: 2 GPM
Kholer uses air-induction technology which introduces air into the water stream of their low flow shower heads. Creating this air-water mix is one way to ensure a constant high-pressure flow.
However, having air in the water flow can cause it to cool down quicker, meaning you need to have the shower on a higher temperature.
Kholer gets round this by having specially designed nozzles that create larger water droplets, which hold heat for longer.
The nozzles are spread out over the entire head, meaning the shower feels similar to a rain-style shower, will full-body coverage.
The shower face has MasterClean credentials making it easy to clean, and resistant to hard water build-up.
Kholer offers another 1.5 GPM shower head for those who want a lower flow rate.
The accepted standards for how much a water saving shower head saves are:
But what does this mean in real terms? Let’s work it out.
These calculations are based on a household of two people, who each take a 10-minute shower every day.
If they have a 2.5 GPM shower head they’ll be using 50 gallons of water each day (2.5*10 = 25 * 2 = 50).
If they switch to a 1.5 GPM shower head, they’ll reduce this to 30 gallons of water each day, a saving of 20 gallons.
Multiply this saving up by 365, and after using the shower head for a year, they’ll have saved 7000 gallons of water!
If the shower has a pause button installed as a few of the heads we’ve featured do, then utilising this will save even more water.
When shopping for a water saving shower head, there are a few things to consider
The flow rate
Are you looking for the lowest flow rate you can find for maximum water savings, or do you just want to save a bit more water?
The materials used
These will affect the durability of the shower head.
If you want something that’ll last you a long time look for a shower head that’s made out of metal, most are made using brass. Plastic alternatives will be cheaper but don’t tend to last as long, especially if they have moving parts.
The type of water flow
The kind of technology used to pressurise the water will make a difference to how it feels.
If it’s been aerated the shower will have more of a misty quality to it which some people don’t like.
Whereas if the shower head used smaller channels to pressurise the water, then the water stream will be more direct.
The customisability of the shower head
Some shower heads only have one spray setting.
If you’re someone that likes to play around with the spray functions in your shower, you’ll want to avoid these.
Other shower heads have up to 9 different settings to pick from.
The type of shower head
Do you want a handheld or a fixed shower head? If you opt for a fixed shower head check if it swivels around so you can adjust the angle.
Chosen your water saving shower head? Here are five more ways to save water while showering